Saturday, May 24, 2008

Will the "Neustrashimyy" be at BALTOPS-2008? describes BALTOPS as:
...a U.S. invitational multinational maritime exercise conducted in the Baltic region each year. BALTOPS provides a basis for promoting mutual understanding and maritime platform interoperability between U.S. Navy, NATO, and non-NATO participants through a series of multilateral training exercises in air warfare, shallow water undersea warfare, electronic warfare, air control, air defense, surface warfare, communications, fast patrol boat operations, seamanship, and mine warfare.

The author participated in BALTOPS-97 on the USS Cape St. George and had a blast in port in Aarhus, Denmark and Gdynia/Gdansk, Poland as well as at Fleet Week in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, where I went out in my Dress Blues in the pouring rain. The smell of wet wool combined with the disgusting taste of three Lapin Kulta beers caused me to vomit into a planter with a couple of other sailors. And to the scumbag who stole my 1968 Canon T-1 SLR camera when my back was turned for five seconds on the Cape St. George quarterdeck, you need a friggen' photography degree to operate the damn thing, what is YOUR dumb ass going to do with it? Anyway...
Back in '97, the Russians participated. Sort of, kind of. But now, they are usually fully integrated into the exercise. But will they be this year? Accoring to one denizen of a Russian forum, maybe not:
The "Neustrashimyy" is now preparing for BALTOPS-2008. This is despite a serious accident in April. The ship came back into port under tow with a gash. I don't know the details, guess something happened internally. The ship was docked quickly and now the deal is that there isn't anyone to send to BALTOPS. Bad for the Baltic Fleet in the near term...

Stay tuned...


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